This DX site was created to let fellow dxer's know what we are up to while on DXpeditions in our former Walsoorden site (HOL) and the new site near Veurne, West Flanders, Belgium. We hope it inspires other dxers to try DXpeditions.

We travel to such locations to escape noise and to be able to put out long beverage antennas. Something we cannot do from home. DXpeditions take place several times a year. Usually in winter. Dxer's from Belgium and The Netherlands take the opportunity to dx from such rural dx location.

Are you interested in future dx trips? Get in touch with us. Send an email to us. We are always happy hearing from dxer's from other countries.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

KNL11 - Knollehof DXped 2-6 February 2023

Knollehof night view

It was with mixed feelings that we left home for our DXpedition KNL-11. A few days earlier reached us the news that Pieter, the landlord of Knollehof passed suddenly away during a cycling tour on the Kemmelberg (known as one of Flanders classics).  More can be read about the story (in Dutch) here. Our thoughts are with Hilde, his wife. It will be difficult times. 

This time the weather was nice an dry. A little bit cold and windy but so different from last time in November when we had to dabble in the mud.

Although we arrived somewhere at noon, the 300 meters beverages to North America and Japan and the 400m to Argentina were ready long before dusk.  So we had time to run out a 300 meter beverage-on-ground to Africa. The reversible 80-260° beverage had to wait for the next day. A few others guys more interested in shortwave reception were putting up a T2FD, a vertical, a Sony AN1 and an LZ1AQ loop.

This time we were with 8 participants:

Leen van Oeveren, Dave Onley, Marc van Leemputten, Guido Schotmans, Marc Vissers, Frank Thijs (and Kastaar, the local pet), Jan Feenstra and Frank Huyghe signed present for the picture. John Bernaerts who always takes care that financially is handled correctly paid us a visit again and Hugo Matten, our local contact man was also present one day.

The first day, Marc Vissers was fiddling around with his laptops. A few days earlier he copied his Jaguar SDR folder from his PC to his laptops not taking in account that the licence key file wouldn’t correspond with the hardware and left the software running in Lite mode. After some time of banging his head against the wall he finally found the correct licences in an old mail archive.  But another strange thing occurred.  Quite heavy QRM on certain frequencies hit Guido’s and Frank T’s set up. It sounded like disk writing but even with no disks connected the QRM stayed. The strange thing was that this was not audible on Marc’s set up although everybody was connected to the same antenna set. After a while it went away but it reared its head every now and then again. 

It turned out that erecting a BOG to Africa was a good idea while that delivered nice reception from Mozambique, a very nice "First" from Emisora Provincial de Inhamabe, from RN Sao Tomé and Posto Emisor do Funchal in Madeira, several Nigerians and TWR Benin. Also Radio Free Africa from Tanzania was often strong but it took a long time to give a station's ID when signal was much weaker.

Thursday the 2nd and Friday 3rd were the better days for Africa. Saturday the 4th was the best morning for Trans-Atlantics, both North and South. The afternoon was nice to the Far East. Marc was the first to to squeeze out an extremely nice Philippines log of DYVS-AM FEBC, the Sweet Voice of Salvation on 1233 kHz. That is very seldomly heard in Europe but has of course to do with the fact that UK’s Absolute Radio left the channel.   


On Sunday the 5th several Koreans were heard and still one Japanese (1278 kHz JOFR).  The differences from day-to-day were much larger than seen before. Often there was also a lot of choice stress. Do I stay on this antenna or switch to another one ? Marc made the right decision just in time to get a nice ID from TWR Benin on 1476 kHz before their close down for the day.

Besides DXing, there are also other tasks to take into account like keeping the wood stove burning. Or keeping Kastaar, the local cat outside. Tasks that should not be underestimated.

Soon it was Monday the 6th and it was again time to leave Knollehof for this edition.  But just before starting to pack Cadena 3 (700 kHz) from Argentina, Radio Maranatha (1440 kHz) Managua, Nicaragua and Radio Monte Carlo (930 kHz), Montevideo, Uruguay and hit our antennas. The latter one was however very weak.

Cadena 3  - 700 kHz from Cordoba, Argentina had a lot of European splatter but still a readable ID. 

The achieved logs are not so astonishing like a few years back during the solar minimum but still very nice and it’s not only about catching the rarest stations but have a good chat and it is always fun to stay here with friends and like-minded soul mates.

Monday, December 5, 2022

KNL-10 Update : conditions less bad than first thought.

It seems we have to come back about our initial idea that conditions were bad. They were bad to North America indeed, but after analyzing the files from the night of the 24th of November things tuned out to be very different.  There were a lot of, sometimes short lived signals from Argentina.  Some of them leveled to good audio but were not giving any ID. Others stayed more or less in the background but with ID.  There were a few exceptions that gave ID's at moments with good signals. Radio Dos from Rosario is such an example. Here you can hear a nice clear identification from the station. My report to Mr. Adrian Gallo was kindly confirmed after one day. 

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And it seems that the Argentines are in a winning mood. So far no less than 7 stations were positively identified and 3 other are tentative. Extraordinary !

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

KNL-10 Frank Thijs own experience about the last DX-pedition

My ninth DXpedition in Knollehof, Veurne, would be completely different. We would now leave during the daytime for our DX location. During the previous DX weekends, I left at 5am and drove most of the time in the dark. The visible environment was usually limited to the road you were driving on. Here and there you could see something of the area when traffic and lighting allowed you to take a look around.

The drive to Knollehof was pleasant, less traffic on the road, no peeping in the dark and it was as if the 'heavier' traffic had less of a morning mood or stress.

Stress, yes… it's something I experience every time a DXpedition announces itself. The 5 coax cables must be checked and repaired if necessary. An audio switcher had to be replaced, some cables had to be ordered and that did not go smoothly. Is everything okay with the external HDs and the laptop and PC? Is there a neighbour who can take care of my cat, Floshke, for a few days. Anyway, these are just a few concerns that can be solved almost immediately. In addition, there are also the questions of how the conditions will be and that was very bad for the many weeks before the DXpedition. Will it rain and storms, are there any deviations that will require me to drive through small villages? How are the fields? Will the antenna setup be a Sunday walk or will it be toiling, sweating, cursing and gruelling for mind and body? Well, this year it was especially gruelling and that especially during the tearing down of the antennas. The more I think about it, the more I feel the pain in my back and legs.

All those questions that made me restless and I'm not even talking about the health that was playing tricks on me a few weeks before the start of the listening pedition. Stress is not unknown to me, but it didn't stop me from starting the 200 km ride with a great desire and living the days in joy among skilled DXers.

Frank at his listening post

The closer I get to our DX location, the calmer I feel. The countryside of the Westhoek gives me a kind of spiritual peace. The silence, the desolation, the somewhat gloomy impression and above all the history of the region in which we spend a few days. A history that is perhaps not or not enough known by the younger people. A history where thousands upon thousands of men and women from all over the world from just about every continent fought and died. A history that is commemorated every year on November 11 in many countries, the history of Flanders Field. There, in Flanders Field, we have been meeting twice a year since 2017 to DX, but also to meet and live together.

The conditions were not good but for some, if not all, participants it is also a relief. The disruptions in our home locations are increasing and an improvement is hardly feasible. The lucky ones among us who have room for FLAGs, KAZ antennas or a beverage also enjoy their antennas less and less due to all kinds of interference that suppress the DX stations. Then a location such as Knollehof does offer the opportunity and the joy of fun stations, even if the conditions are not optimal.

Frank's favourite, Kastaar the local mascotte.

Hopefully I'll find some nice surprises on my recordings, but I'm already happy with some medium wave logs like Sudan and North Korea that I never heard before. Also Nigeria with a nice ID, as you can hear on a recording that Guido made, but Kuwait is also a station for me that I could not often put in the logbook. Hopefully they will answer my reception report.

My listening post consisted of a PC and laptop connected with a Perseus + Jaguar software and an external 4 TB hard disk. The beverages to North America, Argentina, Japan, Australia, Columbia and Africa plucked the radio signals from the air.

All in all, and despite my grumbling before and during the DXW weekend, I enjoyed the midweek. These are days of DXing, discovering, interacting and sometimes clashing, enjoying, looking ahead and looking back and making plans for the next session in Knollehof in Flanders Field.

Frank Thijs.

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KNL10 - Knollehof DXped 21-25 November 2022

KNL-10 was an edition with many obstacles. At first, this DXpedition was planned to go ahead on Thursday the 17th of November and last until Monday the 21st. Unfortunately at the very last moment we were informed that we couldn’t have access to the field where we normally put up our beverage antennas because of a hunting event.  This resulted in a lot of rescheduling work about the renting of the location, groceries orders etc, and of course the hassle for the participants. It was decided to move the DXpedition to Monday 21 to Friday 25/11. All this tuned out that Aart Rouw, Leen van Oeveren and Marc van Leemputten couldn’t re-organize their daily commitments to take part and only Jan Feenstra, Frank Huyghe, Frank Thijs, Marc Vissers and yours truly (Guido Schotmans) would take part. 

Still hunters on the field

Unlike previous editions, we started an extra day earlier so we could drive in daylight and didn’t end up in heavy morning traffic jam. This was welcomed by everyone. When we arrived at the scene, we noticed that there were still hunters on the field. Luckily it was just the end of their activity and moved further away after half an hour and we could start putting up the long beverage antennas.  We are experienced about that matter but they clay soil was very muddy and sticky making walking along the field heavy.  We accomplished erecting the North American beverage, the one to Argentina and the Japan beverage (all 300m long) just before sunset and just in time before the rain started to poor down.  But as often happens, we had to defy the rain to repair a connection on the Argentina beverage.  The more shortwave and utility orientated guys were buzzy putting up the LZ1AQ antenna, a Sony AN1 and a vertical.

We were ready for our first DX-hunt in the night. Soon it became clear that after the previous years of extraordinary great DX-catches, we will have to re-adjust our expectations with the solar cycle going into the higher figures. Logging Australia (see report HERE) and 10 different Japanese stations (see report HERE) wouldn’t be possible with this kind of propagation. In fact reception on the North American antenna turned out to be extremely noisy and it would stay that way the whole week long. There was also not much variation in signal levels. Almost constant low values. On the Argentina antenna, a nice clear log was made of Radio Super Boa Vontade on 1350 kHz and maybe there are still other things hidden in the files we have to analyse.

Super R Boa Vontade

Next morning we had to complete our beverage antenna farm. The 400m reversible Australia/Colombia beverage and the and the non-terminated beverage to Africa. Later in the evening, the Africa antenna brought logs from logs from Sudan on 765 kHz and Gotel, Nigeria on 917 kHz. Dutch R Monique on 918 kHz spoiled the possibility to catch R Benue, Nigeria. Bad luck while a week earlier it was not on the air.

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Antenna work at the revesible Beverage

Of course there was also time for musing about antennas, receivers, computers and the issues involved with it. Talking about computer issues… One time I decided to reboot my laptop but it kept going into automatic recovery with no solution. Luckily I had taken the HD caddy along so I was able to move a recovery file and solve it. Another luck was that this didn’t happen during critical DXing hours.

For food we had the regular Chinese take away. It was popular once again. Hugo Matten, our local DXer and contact had the very nice habit to provide with tasty Belgian waffles. Thanks Hugo !

Before the last night we decided to move around the unterminated Africa beverage into the other direction and making it a terminated beverage. A good move while this delivered us a very nice and strong signal of Radio Gotel, Nigeria on 917 kHz with an ID song. ID’s are quite seldom on that station.

 Radio Gotel, Nigeria at excellent strength. 

Other nice logs were Radio Paraguay on 920 kHz, KCBS, Pyongyang on 819 kHz with their National Anthem. 

Friday was our last day and antennas had to be taken down again. Not such an easy task while we got plenty of rain during the night and the fields were transformed more or less into muddy pools. Even after afterwards walking several hundreds of meters along the road, mud was still sticking tightly on the boots.

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Frank seems to be impressed by the Jaguar software - We are Jaguars ! What else.

Several hours later we arrived all well and safe home but tired and computers disks with lots of files to be analysed.  If anything extraordinary jumps out you’ll hear it here.

Thanks again to the owners of Vakantiewoning Knollehof for re-arranging our stay at very short notice.

More pictures HERE


A few nice not so common logs discovered by Marc Vissers:

2022-11-22 0559 828 kHz AZR Antena 1, Monte das Cruzes, Antena Um ID, time, news // 666, 720 etc.

2002-11-23 0645 576 kHz CNR RNE Radio Nacional, Mesas de Galaz, Regional ID "Radio Nacional de España, Canarias".

2022-11-24 0645 972 kHz MLL RNE Radio Nacional, Melilla, Regional ID "Radio Nacional de España Melilla".

Please put a little comment (in any language) if you have read this report. So the author knows you have interest in this blog.

Signals had difficulties getting through the clouds. 😀 

Monday, February 14, 2022

KNL09 - Knollehof DXped 4-7 February 2022

On February 4th our alarm clocks were again set very early to leave home for that wonderful DX-location in Flanders Fields. 8 participants had signed up but unfortunately once again, one of our active participants had to cancel his trip because he felt feverish.

Leen van Oeveren, Jan Feenstra, Frank Huyghe, Marc van Leemputten, Aart Rouw, Dave Onley and yours truly Guido Schotmans were present.

The weather forecast didn’t look good for the weekend, but we had a lot of luck while putting up the Beverage antennas. It went smoothly even though we missed one of our “workhorses”. It’s becoming more routine now and we managed to put them up with only 2 guys. Propagation conditions didn’t look very promising for paths over the poles, so no Alaska antenna was erected. We did however point our noses towards the South and rolled one out towards Argentina. We finished that just in time before the rain started pouring down heavily.

The other guys were busy putting up the shortwave antennas which didn’t seem to be an easy task under the windy conditions.

Sunday was the worst day with winds reaching 100 km/h. One of the masts of the longwire antenna did not survive. As you can see by the pictures, one section of the mast was very badly bent. A lot of racing around was done trying to save the other mast and checking damage. Dave walked the fields in the
Flanders mud that afternoon. What an effort. All was good for now but the heavy winds persisted. But later that afternoon, rain water dripped from the ceiling on Frank Huyge’s head. The rain apparently found its way through the little cracks in the ceiling.

For food we went as usual to the local take away Chinese at Veurne. When we asked for the bill, she said I’ll print you one in Dutch while this is in Chinese. I wanted to reply with one of those Chinese station ID’s from the Medium wave but just kept it to a Ni Hao.

We had also something to celebrate. Aart got permission from home for a few days off to celebrate his birthday, in a DXing environment. However, this resulted in frequent interruptions in his activities due to phone calls with birthday wishes.

The first night of the trip seemed to be the better one. For some strange reason, Brazilians on Medium Wave are as difficult as they were easy on the Tropical Bands in the old days, but we managed to catch several Firsts that could be stored in our logbooks. It looked like we had to rename the Argentina antenna into the Brazil antenna. So maybe that antenna is a keeper for the next editions of the DX-pedition, especially while solar flux and other propagation parameters are now rising.

Embed from Getty Images 

Frank Huyghe had a nice homebuilt Twin Dual frequency Navtex Receiver project monitoring 518 and 490 kHz simultaneously. It worked well but some tweaking is still necessary.

Jan Feenstra had built a very nice LZ1AQ loop that turned out to do much better than in the initial tests.

Monday morning skies were clear and the rain had disappeared. Excellent for taking down the antennas and driving home again around midday.

Our next trip in November, we will celebrate out 10th visit to Knollehof.

Look here for this excellent vacation home near the Belgian coast. 

Thanks again to Hilde and Pieter for their hospitality. 

Below a few of the new Brazilian catches. 

R America AM 750

Friday, November 19, 2021

KNL08 - Knollehof DXped 12-15 November 2021

A DXpedition requires a lot of preparation. Can the location be rented or are there other tenants who want to experience a commemoration about The Great War? After all, we are in the middle of Flanders Field where thousands of soldiers were stationed, where they got hurt or lost their lives. They came from countries that we now consider DX. North Americans but also Australians, Kiwis, Indians, Africans. 

How the field is doing is another question. Has the rain created a sticky mud that sticks to the boots and drives our weight up by a few kilos? Has the freezing cold transformed the field with some kind of concrete? Or how will conditions behave knowing that the days or weeks leading up to the DX weekend were erratic? These are questions that haunt us.

On Friday the 12th of November, 9 avid DXers gathered at Knollehof Vacation House for KNL-08. It was almost 2 years since we have been there cause of Covid-19 restrictions. And even this time we had our concerns while figures were going again in the wrong direction.  Luckily it was possible to take place but we took several measures to be on the safe side.

Friday morning I left home at 7 am local time for the 150 km ride, but some of us had to drive a lot further while they were coming from the central region of the Netherlands, and Aart coming from Germany had over 600 km to do.

Frank Huyghe, Guido Schotmans, Jan Feenstra, Frank Thys, Leen van Oeveren, Han Hardonk, Aart Rouw, Marc van Leemputten and David Onley

Traffic was low while it was public holiday in Belgium and the weather was fine.  Setting up the antennas was also easy this time because the state of the field has never been so good, despite the unfortunate lack of a DXpedition pioneer, who suffers a lot from back problems, the arrangement of the beverages went smoothly. Only drawback was that the WD-1A military wire we use is old, getting fragile and breaking more often than we used to see.

Advised by Christoph Ratzer from Austria we changed 2 earth stakes as a test while the copper pipes we used to use showed a lot of fragile sections. Also trying to drive them into the Flanders Fields clay was often a struggle. With these ground drilling auger, it was very easy.

Around midday, most antennas where up. We had a reversible beverage towards the Far East and Peru (80/260°), one to Japan (40°) and one to North America (300°). There was still wire, poles and coax enough to erect the Alaska antenna but conditions over the poles had been reported to be very lousy. So this stayed in the car. Other antennas were a longwire, a KAZ, a LZ1AQ loop and a multi-band and a Sony AN1. 

As mentioned, conditions turned out to be lousy, but we were very supersized to see that still 3 Japanese stations were heard on Medium Wave  (1350 JOER, 1278 JOFR and 1134 JOQR). Also Radio La Verdad from the Philippines was heard with a weak signal on 1350 kHz. The always so strong KBS Korea on 972 was extremely weak what made us wonder if they are really on full power.

Musing about antennas.
Besides the usual MW-DXing, also Fax, Navtex, NDB, FT-8 and other modes were practised with success by the guys. Their interest is mainly in the utility part. Longwires, KAZ antennas, an active vertical antenna gave them the pleasure of beeps, riffs and Morse code. A variety of fashions that gave them a DX joy. So that's the ultimate goal of a DXpedition, Enjoy an unusual hobby. A pluriformity that is respected by everyone. For each of us it matters: Where is that special station hidden and when will I hear or see it.

Participants where also surprised by a quiz that seemed to be a bit difficult, but after all, it was meant to produce a ranking for no less than 7 small portable short-wave radios to give away.  The largest one, a Sangean ATS-803 was going as the first prize to Aart Rouw. Besides that, everybody got a vintage Deutschlandfunk pennant. Generous donor was John Bernaerts. He is also always doing several tasks behind the scenes like placing orders and commands for this event. We're very grateful for his effort.

Aart Rouw was the proud winner of the firts prize of the DX-quiz.

A few of us took the opportunity to visit the nearby picturesque city of Diksmuide. A little city that suffered a lot during the first world-war.

Under normal circumstances we will be at Knollehof again in early February. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

KNL07 - Knollehof DXped 10-13 January 2020

Another Knollehof DXPeditions is once again over. It was a bit a dull edition especially when comparing to the outstanding one last November during which lots of Japanese and further away North Americans where logged. Must be the "winter-anomaly" about which there was some talk on different io groups the last few weeks. 

The reversible Beverage antenna
Beverage antenna setup was the same like during KNL06 with the exception that for the Japan 40° beverage that is fed through a 400 m long coax, common mode chockes were added to prevent bleeding in Spanish stations. Unfortunately, the effect was only minor. We are always glad that the farmers give permission to put our antennas on their fields but this time we grumbled and cursed a bit than usual because of the very sticky mud. Other antennas were also the usual ones except from the fact an old school longwire was added. Always nice to compare.

When looking at the consecutive days, we see that propagation following a northern path was mostly very weak.  The Sunday/Monday night was the better one, or should I say the least bad... Not a single Japanese stations was received (with the exception of a very weak and faint music box interval signal from NHK on 1386 kHz. Strangely enough we were able to receive a snatch of KBRW, Barrow/Utqiaġvik Alaska just strong enough to be able to verify it was them by comparing the webstream.  Unfortunately, no ID was catched. Signals to the South were much better but not outstanding.  Receiving the down-under ABC Adelaide on 891 might be disappearing in our dreams.  Last time, that channel was already occupied by the Dutch LPAM stations and now even by the much more powerful Algerian transmitter is active again there. A few nice Firsts from Latin America were received on the reversible 400 m beverage antenna.  Always nice to see this antenna is performing well. Nevertheless, we had to go out in the dark on Sunday while signals dropped considerably on that antenna caused by some bad contact. 

When packing for DXpeditions, you have to be careful not to forget important things like your receiver, headphones or an antenna switch.  I think I never forgot  important things for the DX hobby. But this time I forgot something really different that might be of some importance: underpants! So I had to drive to Veurne's city center to buy a few. Frank Thijs, most of the time the funny guy (yes most of the time) he advised me to buy the type in the picture below.  Unfortunately they were sold out. It might have been interesting to see if it would bring Nordic DX-conditions. 

For food we had the regular Chinese take away meals accompanied by some well chosen wines. Hugo's wife provided us once again with tasty self made Belgian waffles. Thanks again for that and also for delivering the collect and go shopping. Always nice to have a local guy that knows the region. 

This time there were 8 participants: Aart Rouw, David Onley, Frank Huyghe, Frank Thijs, Guido Schotmans, Jan Feenstra, Leen van Oeveren, Marc Vissers, 

As usual, lots of files to analyse afterwards, so our KNL-07 logbooks are far from complete. When we stumble upon special ones, they will be added here as well.